- Jun 14, 2013On Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:39:41 -0500
Rick Saviano <saviano@...> wrote:
>It's simply a matter of their wage bills being much much lower than very
> Not to get political, but it's more like they want to run the
> non-Chinese mold makers out of business. That's what happened to the
> U.S. clothing industry.
expensive US labour. That is changing rapidly because China is rapidly
building a middle class of its own and they also want flat screen
televison, nice cars and the rest of it.
Quite a lot of clothing has been moving back the other way. Some of our
model companies in the UK are doing more of their work here as well, and
Hornby (our biggest model brand) is moving about 10% more of its
production back to the UK.
Plus you need to remember that in some cases (eg Bachmann) it's a Chinese
company in the first place - they merely outsource some business to the
Europe does have a fair number of people doing tooling and moulding work,
or you can do your own. There is nothing intrinsically "magic" about
plastic moulding that requires massive production lines. In fact I know
people who cut plastic kit tooling and run them in their shed. They are
CNC cutting rather electro-eroding so the quality is a tiny shade lower
but its rare that matters.
Pad printing is also widely available because it's not a 'speciality' -
there are people pad printing everything imaginable all over the world.
Again it's not a speciality art - the machinery is not that cheap but it
is available off the shelf, and Europe is full of people who will run pad
3D print is also beginning to change the rules. although we are not quite
at the critical point (which is going to be a $10K printer with
acceptable media costs at Shapeways FUD range of quality). It'll get
there and that plus home CNC kit will change the world. Z is also ideal
for such technology because the costs are heavily based on material
volume. Z is big enough the features are printable, small enough to be
cheap, N likewise. By the time you hit HO it's incredibly expensive 8)
I mostly do N these days but a lot of my recent stock is stuff I designed
and built from a mix of 3D print, cut vinyl, etching and other
technologies. Much more fun than buying little boxes from shops.
You don't need to buy pre-assembled little plastic trains from China, you
have a choice.
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